>> Congress isn't even back yet from a summer break, but a battle is already brewing over the government's need to borrow more money. And now Democrats on Capitol Hill are raising the stakes. Sources telling Reuters Democratic lawmakers plan to hold back their support for raising the federal debt ceiling unless Republicans are willing to cut a deal on another huge issue, taxes.
David Morgan is following the story.>> Reuters has learned that Democrats intend to use the debt ceiling debate to press Republicans for bipartisan tax reform. They want to drive home the point that they're opposed to any tax reform legislation that would cut taxes for the wealthy and expand the federal deficit.
>> Democrats hoping to take advantage of a lack of unity on the Republican side. This week, President Donald Trump taking a shot at his own party on the debt issue. Saying Republicans had missed an opportunity to raise the debt ceiling. And called the situation, now a mess.>> The Republican ranks are divided.
The President wants a clean debt ceiling increase. Which means no extraneous political measures attached. Conservative Republicans are vehemently against that sort of approach. And at some point, we'll get to a decision on whether Republican leaders want to reach out to Democrats to get something done.>> The federal government will run out of money on about September 29th.
Lawmakers under intense pressure to reach a deal or risk defaulting on the nation's debts.>> Democrats feel that Republicans are backed into a corner on the debt ceiling because the Republicans control the White House, the House, and the Senate. So if something doesn't go well, Democrats feel that it's really down to the Republicans and their ability to govern.
>> In 2011, a similar standoff over raising the debt ceiling sent financial markets into a tailspin.>> And damaged the United States' credit rating. The US debt load currently stands at just under $20 trillion.